Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Profile - Joe Bird, Collingdale's honorary borough historian

Role played in borough: Joe was a long time resident of Collingdale and lived in the borough almost all his life. He served in WW II as a member of the 686th Airborne Anti-Aircraft outfit in the Burmese jungle.His experiences in the China Burma India Theater which involved protecting B-29 bombers, spending time in the Pakistani desert, serving a radar crew chief. He returned to Collingdale in 1945, married and had six children. He and his wife Mary were actively involved in the Collingdale High School Alumni Association. Joe was particularly fascinated by borough history and considered it his mission to chronicle it for future generations.

Accomplishments: Joe researched the borough's history for over a decade before putting words to paper. The result was a series of articles in the ColHums newsletter in 2006. The articles were a great snapshot of the borough's history from its beginnings until the present day. He was awarded for his efforts by the borough which made him Collingdale's honorary historian.

What we are doing today to preserve Collingdale's history: Joe Bird's articles spurred others to take action to preserve local historic landmarks in the borough. On Saturday, September 14th, the Collingdale History Society will have a "Joe Bird" history tour as part of the Collingdale History Day at 4 pm. The tour will be based on the series of articles Joe wrote in the ColHums.